Daily Egyptian

Saluki softball swept by Drake

By Ryan Demer, Sports Reporter

Saluki softball fell 2-1 to Drake (28-9, 11-0 MVC) in a nail-biter Sunday afternoon at Charlotte West Stadium, completing the series sweep for the Bulldogs.

Junior Brianna Jones toed the rubber for SIU, tossing six innings of three-hit softball.

Southern knocked five hits during the game compared to the two total hits against Drake in Saturday’s doubleheader.

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“[Coach] Jen [Seawell] before the game had us write down one thing we wanted to do with each pitcher,” sophomore second baseman Maddy Vermejan said. “I think that really helped us get our mind back in the game offensively.”

Drake struck first in the first inning where the Bulldogs scored on an RBI double for a 1-0 lead.

The Bulldogs added to their lead in the third inning with a leadoff solo home run to make it a 2-0 game.

Southern put a runner in scoring position in each of the first three innings but was unable to capitalize.

It was not until the fifth inning that the Salukis got on the board when junior first baseman Kyleigh Decker launched a leadoff solo homer to cut the deficit in half.

However, Drake sent in junior Nicole Newman to relieve senior Kailee Smith. Newman dominated the circle with five strikeouts in 2.1 innings of scoreless relief work, following her 17-strikeout no-hitter from Saturday.

“I think where the game swung is that we just didn’t get on Smith early enough,” head coach Kerri Blaylock said. “If we get on her innings one through four, Newman becomes a non-factor.”

The Salukis (20-15, 4-6 MVC) play on Wednesday afternoon in Murray, Kentucky against the Murray State Racers. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Sports writer Ryan Demer can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @RyanDemer_DE

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